One frequently asked question our customers have is "Should I book an international removal company at origin or destination?" The short answer is both options work, and a third that not many people consider, but here is a breakdown of what to consider to help you work out what method is right for you.
How international removals services are delivered:
When you move overseas your international removal company will need to provide a range of services, some of them need to happen in person at a specific location, others can happen remotely without much impact to you. Some will take place at your current location (your origin), some at your destination and some in between.
Who controls my international move?
The company you book your move with will have ultimate responsibility as your contract is with them; they will manage the move from start to finish and should be your main point of contact for customer service.
Depending on how the company you book with is structured there may be other people involved in your move as all international removal companies rely on a network of some sort to deliver physical services in locations where they aren’t based.
A handful companies will have owned branches in major destinations globally, but the majority will either be part of a joint branded network (for example Bournes are a member of Harmony Relocation Network) or will choose approved agent to work with in each location.
Options for where your international removal company should be based:
There are typically 3 options when it comes to choosing who to book with
1) Hire a Removal Company at your origin location
The 'booker' will manage your move (planning, paperwork, customer services etc) and provide the origin services (packing, loading, transport to port). They will then work with a destination branch to provide physical services in your new location (delivery and unpacking).
2) Book with a company at your destination
The 'booker' will manage your move and provide the physical services at destination (delivery, unpacking etc.) but will work with an origin branch to provide services at your current location (e.g. packing and loading).
3) Book with a company that is not based at origin or destination
As the move management elements of your move can be handled remotely you can book your move with a company anywhere in the world (if they offer this service). They will then manage your move for you but will use an origin branch to provide physical services (like packing and loading) at your current location and a destination branch to handle physical moving services at your new home (delivery and unpacking).
Who does what [and when] during an international removal?
To decide which option might suit you best it's a good idea to understand who does what and when during your international removal.
Pre Move Survey: A move consultant will visit your house to undertake an assessment of your moving requirements including the volume of goods, special concerns and level of packing.
Removals quote and move plan: Based on the requirements discussed at your pre-move survey you'll be provided with a quote and move plan
Booking and Payment: Once you've chosen the international removal company you want to use they will book in your move dates, request your acceptance (contract) and arrange to take payment
Pre-move planning and preparation: The moving company will help you get ready for move day, whether its providing advice and guidance, helping you compete and submit any documentation or discussing customs regulations and more.
Packing: A crew of packers will come to your home on moving day to pack any small items into boxes and to wrap and protect any furniture items ready to move.
Collection: Your belongings will need to be collected from inside your house and loaded either directly into a shipping container or onto the removal company's lorry depending on your method of shipment
Transport: A shipping line or air line arranged by the company you book with will phyiscally move your belongings from the origin port to the destination port
Customs Clearance: Your belongings will be submitted to customs for import, your documentation will be presented. If applicable inspections may occur and any issues will be resolved before your consignment is released.
Delivery and Unpacking: Your items will be transported from the port to your new home, either directly or via the warehouse of the destination agent or consolidator, depending on your method of shipment. They will be unloaded from the vehicle and placed in the rooms of your choice. If you've selected any unpacking services the crew will unpack and take away the empty boxes.
After sales service: In the unfortunate event that anything is damaged or that you have a complaint you'll be assisted with any insurance claim or solutions to resolve any outstanding problems.
So, which option is best for you?
Things to consider when deciding to book an international removal company based at origin or destination
Who will be responsible for your move?
Which company do you want to take ultimate responsibility for the management and organisation of your move? Do they offer something better in terms of tracking technology, customer support, help in planning for your move? Have you had a recommendation or have used a company for an international move before?
Make sure to check that whoever they are using at origin and or destination is a quality agent, for example a member of professional associations such as FIDI or similar?
Are you limited for choice?
Are you limited to movers in one of the locations that means you don’t have much choice of movers or maybe can't find one you're comfortable with? (this can be a common problem in more remote locations) Can you get enough quotes to be confident you’re making the best choice?
Is there a cost difference?
Is there a difference in price between using a mover at origin or at destination? Get a quote from Bournes International Moves to compare.
What else should i know about choosing an international removal company?
Moving overseas can be complicated, but with the right people to help it doesn't need to be stressful. We've written a guide explaining everything you need to know about international removal companies to help you understand what to look for in choosing your mover to make sure your move runs smoothly. You can download a full copy of the guide below.